Maurkice Pouncey: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Joe MorganSenior Analyst IJuly 23, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 25:  Maurkice Pouncey #56 of the Florida Gators lines up in a game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 25, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

My most recent article concerned the ongoing investigation at Florida about former offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey.

Pouncey allegedly received $100,000 from an agent prior to the Allstate Sugar Bowl last season.  The Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick has denied that he took money from an agent through a statement to the Gainesville Sun .

Based on further reflection and the feedback I received, I now realize that I jumped the gun.

I made the mistake of letting my first impression of the situation get the best of me and, as a result, I had a "Dan Gilbert" moment—firing off a mock letter to Pouncey.

(Granted, I did not go insane and do something crazy like use Caps Lock, or guarantee a championship for a team from Cleveland.)

However, I did make the automatic assumption that Pouncey was guilty, which was irresponsible journalism.

Also, I was unfair to Pouncey's situation because, not only did I not wait for the story to develop, but I assumed that if he had taken money, it was for selfish gain.

There's a rumor that the money Pouncey allegedly received was used to pay for a life-saving operation for his father.  While that would still be a violation, it is completely understandable; most of us would have done the same thing in a similar situation.

Luckily, I have this forum at Bleacher Report to work on my writing and receive feedback and commentary from sports fans all over the web.

It gives me a great opportunity to connect with people who share my ideas, to debate with those who disagree, and to figure out when I've made a mistake and to learn from it.

I appreciate everyone who gave me their insights and constructive criticism on my last article and hopefully, you'll give me a second chance and continue to read my future work.

Most of all, I'll take Maurkice Pouncey at his word and I hope that the allegations are completely unfounded and that I was wrong.

Hopefully, we'll see this investigation end quickly, so we can move on and start talking about Gator football again.